Driving while intoxicated is a more severe charge than most people may think. If a police officer finds any reason for pulling you over, such as swerving or over speeding, they could have you take a test to determine the level of alcohol in your blood. Most States use the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) test that they administer using a breathalyzer. If your BAC level is higher than 0.08, you could be in trouble. It is also worth noting that DUIs are not only charged on people intoxicated through alcohol. Anything that could alter your judgment while on a highway is considered as an influence by the law, even prescription drugs.
Consequences of Driving While Intoxicated
There are more than one consequences of driving under the influence, all depending on the circumstances surrounding the charge.
- First-Time Offenders
If it is your first charge and there were no additional aggravations such as reckless driving, you could get away with it quite quickly. The charges against you are not severe, and you could get away with a stern warning or a fine. You stand the chance of getting a lenient warning if you enlist the services of a DUI attorney.
- Repeat DWI
If it is your second or third charge, you may not have it easy. The law is harder on you and will institute tougher punishment to get you to change your ways. The charges differ from one case to another, but you could get any or all of these penalties:
- A hefty fine.
- License revocation or suspension. The duration could differ depending on the severity of the matter as well as the State.
- Jail time, community service.
- A legal requirement to attend traffic school.
- An increase in your insurance fees.
What Can A DUI Attorney Do For You?
When confronted with a DUI, it is always wise to have an experienced attorney represent you. It may seem to you like an open and shut case, but it could escalate into something you had not foreseen.
For a first time offender, the attorney could negotiate a better deal for you. They will also advise you on how to plead-guilty or not. If your test scores are below .11, they could challenge them and get you off with a stern warning and no sentence.
If you are a repeat offender, there should be no doubt in your mind on whether or not to consult an attorney. It would be a risky affair not getting one from the get-go. As they are well versed with the legal system, they will help you navigate it and get you a deal that would be least punitive. An experienced attorney could:
- Have the charges reduced from DUI to something less daunting such as reckless driving.
- Negotiate for discounts on your cash penalty.
- Negotiate for a reduced jail term or period of license revocation.
- They could save you from serving a sentence in prison by negotiating for community service instead.
Getting an experienced attorney will always work to your favor, whether the charges sound severe or not.
Written by Kellie Bertels, an attorney at Bandre, Hunt and Snider in Jefferson City, MO. Bandre, Hunt and Snider are the best DWI attorneys Jefferson City MO have to offer.